LEAGUE CITY’S LONGHORN CATTLE MUSEUM REOPENS All bovine exhibits at the house-turned-museum-and-events-venue at 1220 Coryell St. are now back on view following months of renovations to address flood damage, reports the Chronicle’s Jennifer Bolton. Opened in 2009, The Butler Longhorn Museum, focuses specifically on the iconic cattle breed and the 19th century efforts of the Butler family, members of which helped save the animals from extinction through work on their land in what’s now League City, Kemah, Friendswood, and a few mainland portions of Galveston County. “While most of the exhibits could be — and were — redone, there were murals painted on the downstairs walls of the museum that had to be torn apart,” reports Bolton. Also out of commission: a separate education building that sits on the same 10 acres as the museum itself. [Houston Chronicle] Photo: Butler Longhorn Museum
League City’s city council voted to relegate the Chester L. Davis Sportsplex on I-45 to a less prime spot on the other side of the interstate so that a whole bunch of buildings — collectively dubbed Epicenter League City — can take its highway-adjacent place and hopefully, “make League City a dynamic cultural center and national destination,” according to the official press release. (The map above shows the plans with east facing up.) Freeway exposure for it all is limited by the pair of car dealerships — Mac Haik Toyota and Clear Lake Nissan — situated right up on the northbound feeder road. But behind them lies the 106-acre development’s urban nucleus, a shop-lined central green space bookended by some kind of water park and an opposing “Live/Work Village,” with an outdoor entertainment complex and convention center to the immediate north. Beyond that core, things give way to the parking lot, retail, and office hodgepodge that’s more of a familiar sight.
While a private developer has signed up to fund the Epicenter’s construction, League City officials appear to have their work cut out for them on the new, larger sportsplex — which they want to look something like this:
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The Epicenter off I-45
Beacon Island (née Lighthouse Island, in its more pedestrian days) is up for sale once again, Brandon de Hoyos writes this week. The eponymous prison-striped beacon at the northern tip of the property has been in place since at least the late 1980s — by which time the 35-acre piece of land had also completed its transformation from Clear Creek shoreline to peninsula to full island, as channels were carved into the southern edge of Clear Lake to expand waterfront access. The land also currently hosts the roadways and underground infrastructure installed by woulda-been joint developers The Verandah Cos. and Crow Holdings, right before the housing market collapse and 2008 recession.
Current owner Isola Ventura previously had previously planned for a mixture of residential structures on the island, from townhome to highrise. The island has already been divvied up and okayed for those various purposes by League City’s planning department, roughly as labeled below in the current leasing materials:
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League City Layouts
What should League City expect with the first Houston-area Cabela’s, set to open in a year’s time near the Big League Dreams Sports Park off the Gulf Fwy. and Big League Dreams Pkwy.? All the wonders of wildlife and its stalkers brought indoors, for your perusal and entertainment. That means vast arrangements of deceased but realistic-looking animals mounted in museum-like displays, a “gun library” where you’ll be able to check out the latest in classic, antique, collectible, or just plain hoard-able firearms, an indoor archery range, a fudge shop, and other tourist attractions. Plus, for local flatlanders who may never have seen one, an actual mountain replica. All displayed as it should be, in a big-roofed, fully air-conditioned space not far from Kohl’s and H-E-B.
At 72,000 sq. ft., the store will only be one-third the size of the chain’s behemoth in Fort Worth, but it’ll be bigger than the outposts in Waco and Lubbock. A company press release says the store will feature log construction, as well as other outdoorsy-store mainstays such as metal roofing, wood siding, and stone add-ons.
Photos of Buda (interior) and Allen (exterior) stores: Cabela’s
Clear Lake laps placidly (at least for now) at the shore of a Mies-inspired home designed in 1974 by Houston architect Edmund Furley and located in Glen Cove (the one in League City, not the one near Houston’s Memorial Park). The waterfront retreat’s undated renovations (top) are attributed to interior designer J. Randall Powers and William Caudell (the still-living designer, not Bill Caudill the late CRS architect). Photos in the property’s listing last week generously tour the interior and grounds, but present just one through-the-gate peek at the home’s front (above). There’s a $4.3 million asking price dangling above the wowza waterside spread, but its $12 annual maintenance fee appears to be a real deal.
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RIG VOTE IN LEAGUE CITY League City’s city council voted last night to double the minimum distance oil and gas rigs must keep back from most buildings, including homes. The new requirement is 600 ft., though some residents of the Magnolia Creek subdivision — right next door to one of 2 proposed new drilling sites in the city — had hoped to get a 1000-ft. buffer approved. [abc13; more info; previously on Swamplot] Photo: abc13
GULF FREEWAY OUTLET MALL SITE: UP FOR GRABS? A possible complication in those plans to put a new 95-store outlet mall between the Big League Dreams sports complex and the Bay Colony shopping center west of the Gulf Freeway in League City: The Galveston County Daily News‘s Laura Elder reports that the 35 acres of land Tanger Factory Outlet Centers was hoping to purchase out of bankruptcy for $8.7 million will be going up for auction instead in just 10 days. A bankruptcy court ordered the sale last week. Tanger announced the project in January, just days after the Simon Property Group announced its plans to build another outlet center, the 100-store Galveston Premium Outlets, just 4 miles to the south, in Texas City. [Laura Elder’s Buzz Blog; previously on Swamplot] Rendering: Tanger Outlets
Houston ranks 5th — below Long Island, Miami, Virginia Beach, New Orleans, and Tampa — in potential property damage from storm surges, according to an annual report from Corelogic. The company figures the resulting storm surge from a Category 5 Hurricane here would likely produce $20 billion in property loss — well behind Long Island’s $99 billion score. Can’t this city do a little better? We’ve got the high-hurricane-risk and low-lying-properties parts down cold. If we can just boost the property values a bit in those areas, we’ll be rolling with the high-stakes big boys next time.
The top at-risk area Zip Codes, according to the company’s report: 77573, 77554, 77059, 77571, 77062, 77566, 77586, 77539, 77546, and 77521. Locally, League City leads the way!